Magazine article Variety

U.K. Newbies Form Deep Group

Magazine article Variety

U.K. Newbies Form Deep Group

Article excerpt

There's a familiarity about this year's BAFTA newcomers. Four of the five films nominated for outstanding debut by a British director, writer or producer are helmed by well-known performers.

It was also a great year for Studiocanal and Film4, which jointly backed three of the nominees - "Attack the Block," "Submarine" and "Tyrannosaur" - and for Sheffield-based Warp Films, which produced the latter two.

But the most encouraging sign for British cinema is the strength of the candidates who missed the cut (see box!. In addition to boding well for the future, it means that this year's nominees have even more to be proud of. They are:

* Joe Cornish, director-writer, "Attack the Block." Part of the TV comedy duo Adam & Joe, Cornish co-wrote the script for "The Adventures of Tîntin" and directed behind-the-scenes docs for "Little Britain" and "Hot Fuzz" before graduating to his first feature. "Attack the Block" is an original blend of teen gang drama with sci-fi, as a lawless bunch of young thugs on an inner-city estate become mankind's best hope against an alien invasion. Box office results didn't match high hopes for this genre fusion, with a worldwide return of $6 million from a budget of $12 million.

* Ralph Fiennes, director, "Coriolanus." The Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning actor certainly didn't play it safe by taking on one of Shakespeare's thorniest plays for his directing debut. John Logan's screenplay updates the war-torn setting to somewhere in the contemporary Balkans, and Fiennes delivers a bold, kinetic action drama

* Richard Ayoade, writer-director, "Submarine." Comic performer and writer Ayoade appeared alongside Chris O'Dowd in the cult Channel 4 sitcom "The IT Crowd" and earned his directing stripes with musicvideos. "Submarine," which he adapted from Joe Dunthorne's novel, is a coming-of-ager hovering awkwardly between comedy and drama, about a mildly dislikeable Welsh teen trying to keep his parents together and get the girl. Performed OK in the U. …

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